I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got five new comics plus a hard cover collection:

  • Archer and Armstrong −8
  • Bloodshot – 9
  • Hoax Hunters – 8
  • Mind the Gap – 8
  • Walking Dead – 108
  • ”Ditko Monsters – Gorgo” Volume 1
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

    ”Conan Volume 12: Throne of Aquilonia” by Roy Thomas, Mike Hawthorne, and Dan Panosian

    This volume of Conan collects the back half (issues 7-12) of the Dark Horse Comics series “Conan: The Road of Kings”. I was a bit surprised by this volume since the writing was different than the first part of the story. Same author, Roy Thomas, but a different style. Thomas was a regular Conan writer back in the 1970s when Marvel was publishing Conan. Since about the early 90s I can remember his writing routinely being criticized for being “Over-written”. That criticism, when applied to comic books, means using too many words. A comic book writer has to know when to let the artist tell the story and not get in the way. It’s a tricky thing getting the balance right. These days the balance, in general in comics, is at too few words but that’s another discussion.

    Last volume I noticed that it looked like Thomas was making an attempt to cut down on his use of a lot of words and especially description. I though it was fairly successful. This volume it’s obvious he’s cutting it down even more. He uses far fewer captions and even less description. He lets the art tell the story more than he has in the past.

    The two pencilers on the book, Mike Hawthorne and Dan Panosian, both do a nice job. I wouldn’t say either is spectacular but both are pretty darned good. Hawthorne’s stuff gets a little bloodier than is often seen in Conan with limbs being cut off and heads severed but it’s done matter-of-factly in the middle of battle. I also liked his storytelling. To compare the two artists I think I like Hawthorne’s storytelling better but I liked Panosian’s drawing better. Panosian has an interesting style that, at times, reminded me of Gene Colan and at other times John Buscema, Jeff Smith, Mike Mignola, and others. I guess he’s himself with a lot of influences as are most of us.

    The story itself was about what you’d expect from Conan. He gets involved with a royal conspiracy to overthrow a king and has to fight man and monsters. About what you’d expect from a Conan story but I don’t read Conan expecting anything else other than sword and sorcery. Anyway you cut it I though this was a solid Conan volume. Better than the first half of the story and I always like it when things exceed my expectations.